Story by LT Michelle Tucker on 01/11/2019Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer got a first-hand look at how the Navy trains aviators during a visit to Naval Air Stations Corpus Christi and Kingsville, Texas, Jan. 9-10.
Spencer met with Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) staff, student naval aviators, and instructor pilots at both sites and toured the bases during his visit.
CNATRA is responsible for training all Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviators, naval flight officers, and naval aircrewmen across five air wings located in Texas, Florida, and Mississippi.
Instructor pilots and students showed Spencer CNATRA's iconic orange and white twin-engine T-44 Pegasus and single-engine turboprop T-6B Texan aircraft of Training Air Wing 4 at NAS Corpus Christi and the T-45 Goshawk training jet aircraft of Training Air Wing 2 at NAS Kingsville.
"Thank you for the vital role you play in preparing our Navy and Marine Corps team to fight and win tonight," said Spencer. "The training conducted at NAS Corpus Christi and NAS Kingsville is central to our migration to a continual learning enterprise, directly improving the readiness and lethality of our combat forces. Your record of performance demonstrates why Training Squadron 10 was rightly recognized in the fiscal year 2017 Safety Excellence Awards and I am confident you will continue building on that record of achievement with a sense of urgency."
Spencer presented awards to the Junior Sailors of the Year and Bluejackets of the Year at both bases. Student naval aviators also demonstrated the T-44 simulator at NAS Corpus Christi, just one of several simulators across CNATRA.
"Our students are innovative and can learn at an incredible rate," said CNATRA Rear Adm. Greg Harris. "In addition to a well-developed curriculum we are incorporating new technologies such as virtual and mixed reality simulators to enhance skills on the ground before students execute procedures inflight, thus increasing safety and efficiency. I am immensely proud of the work our entire team does every day."
CNATRA, headquartered in Corpus Christi, trains the world's finest combat quality aviation professionals, delivering them at the right time, in the right numbers, and at the right cost to a naval force that is where it matters, when it matters.